But Elco's Madelyn Shaak and Cedar Crest's Madeline Maria were absolutely identical in one very important aspect of their athletic careers on Saturday afternoon.
Following the completion of the first two rounds of the singles portion of the District Three Tennis Championships, both Shaak and Maria had the cherished opportunity to walk out of Hershey Racquet Club with their heads held high.
Raider junior Shaak may have been walking slightly taller after earning the first district semifinal berth of her career with a pair of straight-sets victories in the Class AA bracket, but unseeded Falcon senior Maria had plenty to be proud of as well after becoming the first Cedar Crest girls' tennis player to win a district singles match since Kim Karli in the late 1990s.
Maria was eliminated, 6-1, 6-1, in the second round in Class AAA by No. 2 seed and reigning Lancaster-Lebanon League champ Mackenzie Smith, but not before playing superbly in the first round and ousting Kailynn Dunkle of Lower Dauphin by a 6-3, 6-2 score.
The third-seeded Shaak, meanwhile, had a closer-than-the-score indicates struggle with Maria Mastromarino of Berks Catholic in the first round before emerging with a 6-2, 6-1 win. She then followed that victory up by rolling past Stephanie Seabra of York Suburban, 6-0, 6-0,
The matchup, along with the rest of the singles semifinal contests, is slated for high noon back at Hershey Racquet Club. The top two finishers in Class AA qualify for the PIAA state tournament, which will be a difficult task for Shaak to accomplish, given the presence of the heavy-hitting Blakely and two-time defending champ Julia Casselbury of Lancaster Country Day in the bracket.
But a top-three finish and a shiny district medal that would go with it are very much in Shaak's sights after her efforts on Saturday.
"I'm really happy," Shaak said moments after her double-bagel win over Seabra. "It's been my goal the past two years, to get to the semifinal round. Obviously, it's really hard to make the finals (in AA) because there's two awesome players there. But I want one of those district singles medals, so it just feels great knowing that I got as far as my goal was. The rest is just extra."
Maria, meanwhile, put the exclamation point on the end of her senior season with her impressive triumph over Dunkle, playing quite possibly the best match of her scholastic career in the process.
"It was a great feeling, I feel honored to be able to get this far and just give it my best my senior year," Maria said.
Shaak, the Lebanon County singles champ for the third straight year and the reigning L-L AA doubles champ along with Elco teammate Kristi Fidler, added to her ever-growing list of junior-season accomplishments by securing her spot in the semifinals, but not before receiving a mini-scare from Mastomarino.
A crafty lefthander, Mastromarino confounded Shaak at times with a variety of slice and underspin shots, but the Elco standout remained calm and poised in the face of the challenge.
"I couldn't get in a rhythm, her style really made it hard for me to hit my shots," Shaak said. "I had to be patient and just keep playing with her. She made me hit a lot of balls during that match."
Maria ended up not getting to hit as many balls as she would have liked against tough customer Smith, but nonetheless took a lot of positives out of the final singles match of her scholastic career. Including the fact that her senior season isn't over just yet, since she and partner Catherine Bond have already earned a spot in the District Three doubles tourney that gets under way on Saturday.
"It's a great experience to play Mackenzie and someone that's at a higher level," Maria said. "It just makes me work harder.
"It is a little bit (tough)," Maria said of dealing with the finality of playing her last singles match at the high-school level. "I think it helps knowing that I still have doubles next week. I'm still in it."